Mere is an Instagram superstar who knows how to be creatively delicious in her kitchen. She turns healthy foods into something beyond tasty, and her pictures are absolutely beautiful. We were lucky enough to interview her, so be ready to get some amazing advice on food and fitness!
Q: So tell me a little about yourself!A: My full name is Meredith although most people call me Mere. I’ll be turning 25 soon, which makes me feel like I’m on the verge of a quarter life crisis! Not really, I’m very happy with my life, but I also feel as though there’s so much left to discover! I spend 98% of my time dealing with food (and probably the other 2% sleeping). I work for an organic food company with 13 brands of our own, as well as managing those social media sites and my personal “foodstagram” (@meresnuttykitchen). I’ve been active my entire life, a dancer for over 20 years, and still going strong if you like to count my living room and night clubs. I also really enjoy lifting, kickboxing, cycling, yoga and any activity that keeps me entertained! (Although I’m pretty terrible at organized sports). Outside of food & fitness you can find me quoting movies, being awkward and pretending to be Ludacris.
Q: What was your first experience with Instagram? Was your account always food and recipe related, or did it start off more personal?A: I started my Instagram in college actually as a personal account. Once I graduated, I got really into reading food blogs, learning how to cook and trying to find a healthy balance for myself. One day I decided I was going to buy a waffle maker and the rest was history. I was strangely SO into decorating that waffle and wondered what else I could try my hand at. Maybe I could do photography like these blogs, decorate my oats, stack my pancakes and swirl my nut butters (an obsession of its own). Midway through the process I discovered an overwhelming number of food allergies and intolerances which caused me to HAVE to get creative in the kitchen and develop my own recipes. I didn’t want to give up the foods I love! I truly believe that healthy and allergy-friendly food can be just as good (if not better ;)) than its counterparts. My goal is to help people find balance, enjoy what they eat, not feel restricted, and to live every day by the #healthyfoodporn motto.
Q: As someone who works in the field of healthy snack food, what are some key things you look for when determining what products are really good for your health, or what may be green washing/a marketing hoax?A: This is actually an interesting question since I work specifically in health food marketing. For me, it’s all about reading the nutrition panel and ingredients. You can say whatever you want for claims/copy and have the prettiest packaging in the world, but that panel will speak for itself. Something may be “low fat” but did they really just add sugar to make up for it? Gluten free doesn’t mean healthy. Organic doesn’t mean low calorie. Unfortunately a lot of consumers still don’t get it. I hope that more people will continue to educate themselves on how to read nutrition facts and interpret ingredients to understand what they are putting in their bodies. But with that, I also think it’s important to find a balance between knowing and not always NEEDING to know, ya know?
Q: What’s your go-to meal to make when you cook for friends or family? Something you know tastes good and is good for them?A: I usually get the request for protein pancakes! Pancakes were my favorite thing to order out for breakfast, so when I finally was able to make them egg and gluten free, it was the greatest moment in the world. Most people on Instagram think my pancakes look super unhealthy.. but you’d be fooled by the ingredients in them, I promise! OR I could go the savory route with shrimp.. Shrimp and pancakes is practically the new chicken and waffles right?
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?A: HANDS DOWN ITALY! I studied abroad in Florence for four months in my junior year of college and it changed my life. I still look at photos and cry about it. I’ve never felt more alive and engulfed in a world of art and beauty than I did there. Did I mention food? That wasn’t half bad either ;) I know I will go back, but sometimes I think about how long I could make it last.. aka forever!
Q: Favorite way to enjoy ENLIGHTENED crisps? And the ice cream?A: My favorite way to enjoy the crisps is actually my mid-morning snack every single day! I take a thin rice cake and mash about ¼ of an avocado on top. Then I sprinkle it with sea salt crisps (and sometimes hemp seeds if I’m feeling fancy). It’s the ultimate salty fix and the healthy fats keep me full until lunch. You probably are well aware of my favorite way to eat the ice cream. I like to make a bowl of proyo (protein yogurt) topped with lots of goodies like nut butters and homemade treats, then use the ice cream bar as a spoon to eat everything! Who needs silverware this day in age anyway?!
Rapid Fire Round!
Q: Peanut butter or almond butter?
A: You’re talking about MeresNuttyKitchen. I don’t discriminate nuts! But I GUESS I would have to choose almond butter (and then follow it with a spoonful of peanut butter).
Q: Grilling or baking?
A: Grilled taste but ease of baking? Jeez I’m indecisive.
Q: Going for a challenging hike or spending a relaxing day at the beach?
A: Going for a hike then jumping in the ocean.. does that count?
Q: Crisps or Ice cream?
A: Sea salt caramel ice cream covered with sea salt crisps. You had to have known how this one would go…